First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
We live in a social world. We can share information instantly to people on the other side of the world. When Paul was writing Romans, the world was not so accessible. It was much more difficult to get news from others. This passage uses this phrase, “that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” If news was so difficult to obtain, how did the world hear of the believers in Rome’s faith?
1. Rome was the epicenter of the world. Rome was in charge. As in large cities in our country, whatever happened in Rome was what people heard about.
2. Their faith was different than any other. Rome was filled with many “gods.” Almost every month they had a festival to celebrate some “diety.” Most Romans had shrines to “gods” in their own homes. The were very superstitious. They believed any malady was a “god” being unhappy with them.
The message of the believers was very different than their beliefs. The belief that there was only one God, that He cared for them individually, and that He sacrificed Himself for them was contrary to everything they had heard.
3. The power of God was evident in their lives. These believers had been changed. Many believe these converts to Christianity became believers at Pentecost. When that event was over they went home. Some of these believers were Jews and others Proselytes (Gentiles who turned to the true God and followed Judaism.) They had turned from their prior faith in religion to the Savior.
How does this History lesson impact me? This should be said of us today. We live in the Epicenter of trade and power in the world. The world gets much of its news from the USA. Our faith is different than any other and has power. Why is our faith not spoken of around the world than?
I believe the reason our faith is not spoken of around the world is because the power of God is not evident in our lives. The converts had an obvious change in their lives. They didn’t understand every Bible doctrine. They just knew the one who had saved them. If we want to make a difference in those around us and around the world we may need to change our approach. Its great to have head knowledge about the bible. But if we are to make an impact we must know the savior and have our lives reflect this. The phrase, your walk speaks louder than your talk, is true. We need to be close to the savior ourselves to make an impact on the world around us.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.